I don’t accept a new management level: how to negotiate my exit

I don’t accept a new management level: how to negotiate my exit

I don’t accept a new management level (just above me)

While you have good results and good press in your company, know your job and are competent, an organization reshuffle is decided and a new boss arrives, and someone new gets in between you and this new boss.

You have been in this company for quite some time, you’re autonomous and enjoy historical ties with general management as well as with the group management to which your company belongs.

How does this new arrival can be explained? Many reasons be involved:

  • The new boss may doubt to be able to manager you directly and it will be the new in-between’s mission;
  • He may want to give this job to someone he knows and trusts as a transmission relay.
  • It may be that your company wants to get staffed to cope with new priorities and/or new projects which, right or wrong, it didn’t wish to give you.

Whatever the case may be, it’s up to you to determine if you accept this situation or not.

If you don’t accept it and if this involves you leaving your company taking, for example, this opportunity to build other projects, you’ll have to build your case around them seeing their interest in your departure in good conditions, thus not speculating on you resigning.

There are, at least, two grounds onto which you might use as leverage: demotion (downgrading) and loss of confidence. The first one is delicate and not legally sound, and the second a lot more solid.


Demotion (downgrading).

Caution: even if finding yourself one or two levels down from before the reorganization is equivalent for you to some sort of demotion, downgrading an employee must in France include specific events:

  • Downgrading the employee’s financial package;
  • Lowering the perimeter/level of responsibilities;
  • Decision is made unilaterally and immediately;
  • Implies a change in the employment contract which the employee may accept or not.

Yet, the insertion of one or more layers, even if this can be painful for you and affect your daily professional life, is not a demotion per say. Theirs is no change in your employment contract or pay and is not, therefore, a punishment. It’s an organizational change which does not make you happy.

So, you’ll have to bring the matter on different grounds with your boss if you want to leave.

Loss of confidence (or defiance).

“Why did you nominate X between you and me? Does this mean that you don’t trust me anymore?”, or “While I have all the required experience and competence, I don’t understand why you didn’t call on me to fill that position given to X”.

Talking about a manager or, even more, a Director, the loss of trust is a powerful way to make your company wonder about your lasting in it.

Other possible subjects.

Discussions can also be around you investing time & energy, or not, to bring your n+1 up to speed or even training him if he doesn’t know the specific environment he’s getting into, and which you master.

You could also talk about potential dysfunctions that may arise from this new situation.


Approaching the situation through the demotion angle is possible to express your feelings but is not a solid ground as the company can always oppose that this change on the organization is deemed necessary in their eyes and for good reasons. And that contract and pay remain the same.

On the other hand, approaching the situation through the ‘loss of trust’, knowledge transmission or dysfunctions angles prove to be much more powerful leverages to leave in good conditions.

To know more about how to negotiate exit please use the enclosed contact form.


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